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The Great Big Book of Families

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  406 ratings  ·  115 reviews
This fun and fascinating treasury features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of home life - from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees. Ros Asquith's humorous illustrations perfectly complement a charming text from the acclaimed Mary Hoffman; kids will love poring over these pages again and aga ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by Dial Books (first published March 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  406 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book is AMAZING!

Living in a white first world country with white heterosexual middle class parents, I often try to find ways to expose my children to different cultures, family structures and beliefs.

This book covers all of that as well as economic status, housing situations, transport options, even pets. The illustrations are colourful and funny and completely engage any child, or adult who's reading this.

One of my absolute favourite kids books!
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
A nice book that features a wide variety of families from "traditional families" to blended families; multi-cultural and multi-racial families; single parent families; families headed by lesbian or gay parents, grandparents, foster parents; families with many siblings or cousins or great-grandparents, even; families with just one child and one adult... Beyond the basic family make-up, the book also explores jobs (sometimes only one parent works, sometimes both do, sometimes parents are out of wo ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. On each page it shows several different kinds of families—how some live in houses, some live in apartments, and some don't have anywhere to live; some wear jeans all the time, some like to dress up, and some wear whatever they want (this shows a boy wearing a tutu and a kid in pajamas, I think); some kids have a mom and a dad, some have only one or the other, some are raised by their grandparents, and some have two moms or two dads. I love anything that teaches kids that everyo ...more
If you are looking for a book that introduces children to the different structures, rituals, style, living situations, etc of families I HIGHLY recommend this book. It was amazing and I love that it made everything so simple and easy to understand. This book definitely focuses on the elements of diversity.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book. I read it with my 7 and 4 year old. It gave them an opportunity to ask questions, and it was easy to relate to families we know, so they could understand the concepts better. It's not just about single parents or same sex parents, it's rich and poor, homeschooled and public schooled, working parent and stay at home parent, etc etc.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

really a charming and at times provocative book.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
This wasn't bad, but I was expecting something more I guess.
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Love the representation of all kinds of families. My one complaint is that this felt a little like it was trying to be everything to everyone. It tries to cover every possible scenario, which is of course, impossible. But points for the attempt and the cute illustration!
Nearly every possible variety of family is pictured in this joyful book--every race, every gender combination, every major religion, every mood and personality, single parent, two parent, blended families, small families, big families, with long lists of relatives, families with different hobbies, families with different modes of transportation, and more There is even a very grouchy looking Grandma and cranky dad on one page (showing a family tree for a blended family--Dad and Grandma and sour U ...more
Ben Truong
The Great Big Book of Families is a children's picture book written by Marry Hoffman and illustrated by Ros Asquith which focus on the definition of family, what constitutes a family, where family live, and what families do. This book explores a myriad of families and each being valid in every meaning of the definition.

Haffman's text is simplistic and flowed rather well and the text was easy to follow. I liked how the book started – about how families used to be portrayed in the past – white het
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family-text-set
This is an informational text on the many different types of families that we are continuously surrounded by. The thing about this writing that made it so interesting was the fact that they do not just focus on one aspect of families, but rather traveled through home life, holidays, pets, traditions and so much more. This book is something that is exciting for children to read with the various bright colors and the appropriate language that allows many of them to read or follow along with ease. ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a non-fiction book about families and the many different types of families that exist across our society. All types of families are discussed, large, small, adopted, LGBTQ,, bi-racial, etc. It goes on to discuss the different places the families live, and then goes on to discuss what unites the families as being the same. The illustrations are colorful drawings, I found the pages to be a bit overwhelming and almost too busy. They are well done, but the pages felt very cluttered and left ...more
I really enjoyed this informational-style book about different families. The book illustrates families of different shapes, sizes, colors, genders, backgrounds, animals, etc. A diverse range of cultures are represented in non-stereotypical ways. The book talks about small and large families as well as different economic backgrounds in which families can live such as large homes or tiny apartments. This book does a great job of depicting as many family structures and their lifestyles as it possib ...more
Jordan Baughman
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Mary Hoffman explores families of ALL sizes, color, and background in this straightforward and fun informational literature for children. Her fun illustrations show not only families demographics or parental arrangements but things such as differences of psychology: "In some families everyone shares their feelings.... Sometimes not everyone in the family feels the same way about things" How creative and truly all inclusive! This wide range of inclusivity is why I chose the book to be a part of m ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This fun book for children illustrates the fact that «in real life, families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes». The differences are explored in lots of areas: jobs, houses, holidays, pets, celebrations, and so on, not only in the composition, notably also with families with two moms or two dads. To teach young children to accept and welcome differences is an important task to create a more open society. I can imagine that the humorous (and numerous, even all around the pages border) illustr ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, family
Miss 3 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors.

I really liked it. It's so hard finding books that aren't 2 + 2. As a solo parent, it's really confusing for Miss 3 that so many books show a different living situation to her. I liked that thought was given to different families and cult
Jessica Burstrem
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
We wanted a book for my adopted stepson that would expand his understanding of what family means. I know I'd had something like that for my own son a decade ago or so, but I couldn't remember the title or find anything to trigger my memory. This book was recommended on multiple websites, so we went with it. It does indeed include explicit references to every kind of family I can think of (although not quite one as unusual and blended as ours!) and to a variety of living situations as well, so I ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book shows all the different types of families, along with celebrations, houses and pets. Older two year olds were interested and wanted to hear, but it didn’t quite keep the interest of the younger ones. It also introduces the idea of homelessness, which it did very carefully I think, giving them enough information to have the look of compassion come over their little faces, without being scary.
A Allen
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. There are so many tiny details in all the illustrations that I find something new every time I read it. I love how inclusive the book tries to be. I love that there are so many "categories" to talk about and explore together such as pets, holidays, transportation, feelings, hobbies, jobs, food, and homes. Adding to my "buy it" list
Emilie Liebert
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
This book is very diverse; it mentions LGBT couples as well as any other type of couples, includes religion and status, and so much else. This could cover many topics, and be a start for questions and deep discussions. The pictures are colorful and it's very pretty to look at as well as read. I think kids would enjoy the exposure this book provides.
Francesca Lee
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came across this book on a placement in a PSHE lesson. This is a great book to show children that there are many types of families. There are different types of homes too. The book celebrates families differences and that there is no 'correct' way.
Jack Sharpe
This book gives children an open look at society. It lets children know that difference in their is okay and not everyone is the same.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
The best thing about this book is that it displays all sorts of unique families--a very realistic look at families today. Every child is likely to see his/her family shown within the pages.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We loved all of the pictures in this book. I'd really like to add this to our stack of books at home.
Jo Oehrlein
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Starts out with different sizes of families (2 parents, 1 parent, grandparents, lots of kids, etc.) but then branches into other things like new clothes vs hand-me-downs, holidays, etc.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: skylar
Enjoyable book about different kinds of families!
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Great Big Book of Families is an awesome book to teach children about all types of families.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Okay but a little disappointing as gay parents get barely a mention and are missing from the cover, which suggests inclusion but not celebration.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a simple book for discussing with kids thayball families look different. I love how the book gently introduced my daughter to the realities of many families different from ours.
Jenna Mills
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this! Loads of different families and ways of life. Something to look for on every page. Great book.
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See also works published under Mary Lassiter

Mary Hoffman is a bestselling British author and reviewer, born in 1945. She is a true enthusiast of Italy and spends a lot of her time there, which shows in her Stravaganza novels: a series currently in publication. In total, she has written over 80 books, including the aforementioned Stravaganza series and the bestselling picture book, Amazing Grace. M

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